A trial to bring a global aviation navigation upgrade programme
to the South Island has
been announced in Christchurch today by Airways New Zealand, Board
of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), Christchurch
Airport and New Southern Sky.
The 12-month arrivals-only flight paths trial will commence
later this week and is part of a nationwide programme called New
Southern Sky, which the NZ Civil Aviation Authority is
implementing across New Zealand airports to bring this country in
line with the new global standard for satellite-based navigation
systems, known as Performance Based Navigation (PBN).
The implementation of PBN flight paths are part of an
international industry and government initiative required at all
major airports in New Zealand. PBN informed flight paths in other
parts of New Zealand and the world contribute to international
aviation carbon dioxide emission reduction proposals and are
aligned with the Government's National Airspace and Air Navigation
Rhys Boswell, Christchurch Airport General Manager Strategy and
Sustainability, said the trial was a significant step towards
implementing modern flight navigation systems.
"Performance Based Navigation means moving away from current
ground-based navigation aids and procedures, to a more accurate
satellite-based system using the performance and capabilities of
equipment on board the aircraft," Boswell said. "Christchurch is a
growing hub for major international airlines and it is important
that we continue to modernise our systems to support the management
of growth in travel, trade and tourism."
The purpose of the trial is to gather data to compare with and
add to accumulated information, including noise to inform the
implementation of PBN at Christchurch over coming years. The trial
flight paths have been developed following research, noise
monitoring and industry input, and the trial partners will work
with local residents and businesses to gather feedback on the
Tim Boyle, Manager of Future Systems for Airways New Zealand,
says the trial flight paths will operate within the existing
approved noise contours for Christchurch Airport.
"The new technology will allow for shorter, more direct flight
paths, which lowers fuel burn and exhaust emissions. This should be
beneficial to the air quality in areas near the airport. There will
also be a significant improvement in air traffic management meaning
more efficient arrivals and departures to avoid 'stacking'
aircrafts in a holding pattern. More efficient take-off and landing
should also reduce overall noise levels for more people."
The PBN trial will only apply to scheduled passenger aircraft
arrivals. The flight paths will be trialled by a quarter of
all jet arrivals into Christchurch.
The trial will collect technical data (including noise
monitoring) and community feedback, to help determine the best
balance of safety, airspace management and environmental benefits
such as noise reduction for communities, and fuel and carbon
Justin Tighe-Umbers, Executive Director of BARNZ, added: "New
Zealand, along with the rest of the world, has benefited from
greater connectivity and convenience in air travel, which has
increased the number of airlines and passengers flying into New
Zealand. These upgrades are critical to ensure our airports
continue to operate in the most safe, efficient and environmentally
sustainable way as they look forward to welcoming more
The Christchurch trial will commence on Thursday, 9
For detailed information please visit www.christchurchflightpathstrial.co.nz